Google has said it will now hide more content that has been removed from its ‘right to be forgotten.’ The new decision will apply to all versions of the tech giants search engine results when viewed from countries that have approved the removal.
Previously, the ‘right to be forgotten,’ only applied to citizens from within the European Union, who could ask search engines to remove information that pertains to them. The restriction did not apply, and was not enforced in other jurisdictions. Now though, removed results will be hidden from Google’s search engines worldwide.
Currently, Google only hides ‘right to be forgotten’ information on European search engine homepages such as Google.co.uk, Google.fr and Google.de. However, any individual choosing to search from the US version of Google, or any other country, will reveal EU omitted results. A quick Google search will reveal a myriad of guides and step by step instructions on how to accomplish this.
Going forward, Google will now hide this information from all other global homepage results as well, but crucially, only if the user is in Europe. While not providing the specific manner by which they will accomplish this, Google is most likely to filter the results by utilising IP addresses. If this is case, then in theory, anyone using a VPN should still be able to find ‘forgotten’ pages.
Google released a statement to Fortune.com where they stated:
“In addition to our existing practice of delisting on all European domains, we’ll soon also remove delisted search results from all Google domains for people searching from the country of the requester, reflecting evolving European law in this area.”
Regulators within the EU have been chasing Google for some time to persuade the company to change the way it deals with ‘right to be forgotten’ requests. Google though seem only to have made this decision in light of the fact that the French Data Protection authority had threatened the US firm with fines, if they did not remove ‘forgotten’ data from all global sites.
Users from outside the EU will still be able to see search results that have been left unfiltered. The changes are due to come into effect at the end of this month.